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Unclear on the concept

Monday, Dec 10, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune editorial cartoonist…

The French are protesting “progressive” taxation?

That’s a new one on me.

* A bit of history

Immediately upon reaching office, Macron abolished the Solidarity Wealth Tax (ISF), giving €4 billion to the richest; and has strengthened the Tax Credit for Solidarity and Employment (CICE), a tax cut and exemption program transferring €41 billion a year to French companies, including multinationals. Shortly afterwards, with the 2018 budget bill, Macron established a flat tax that allowed a lowering of taxation on capital, handing another €10 billion to the richest.

At the same time, the government has increased the General Social Contribution (CSG) income tax to be paid by pensioners, while pensions themselves have ceased to be indexed to inflation (and thus to retirees’ ability to buy consumer goods). It has got rid of the subsidized contracts (which allowed large numbers to work on contracts partly financed by public bodies) and lowered by five euros a month the amount of housing contributions (APL) for the most disadvantaged.

* More

The [tax] cuts, which mainly target employers, fit into a strategy of making work pay more in a country where labor costs are high and unemployment — currently stuck above 9 percent — is plaguing the presidency.

But to pay for his cuts, Macron is hitting the less productive sections of society: Pensions are to be capped, as are welfare benefits, and public sector jobs are to be axed, according to a sneak peek of the budget provided Sunday by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

* More

However, Macron has ruled out a return of the impôt de solidarité sur la fortune, or solidarity tax on wealth (ISF). The president reportedly told a meeting of the council of ministers on Wednesday: “We’re not going to unpick anything we’ve done in the last 18 months.”

Lifting part of the ISF was a pillar of Macron’s election campaign and one of the first fiscal measures he implemented on taking power in May 2017, leading to his nickname “president of the rich”.

Flatter taxation, tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations, pension “reform” and austerity. That pretty much sums up the Tribune editorial board’s policy road map for Illinois.

* More

In France, an individual earning between $30,675 and $82,237 is taxed at 30 percent. In the U.S., an individual earning $30,675 would pay 12 percent in federal tax while someone earning $82,237 would pay 22 percent.

Joseph Downing, an expert in French politics at the London School of Economics, agreed that the protests were about “much more” than taxes on gas.”

* And as far as gas taxes go

The tax will increase the price of fuel by about 30 cents per gallon and will continue to rise over the next few years, the French government says. Gas already costs about $7.06 per gallon in France.

* There is so much disinformation out there. From the AP

THE CLAIM: Video shows French firefighters turning their backs and walking out on French President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony.

THE FACTS: Macron was not at the event where firefighters were captured on video turning their backs on officials on Saturday, Dec. 1, but the video is real. Social media users began sharing the video with the false claim after grassroots demonstrations in France turned violent last weekend. The protests began as a response to Macron’s plan to increase the fuel tax. Sebastien Delavoux, secretary general of the local fire and rescue union, told The Associated Press that firefighters turned their backs toward their employers because they were angry that their yearslong concerns about staffing issues had not been addressed. […]

THE CLAIM: Video shows French citizens chanting “We want Trump!” during recent protests.

THE FACTS: Social media users are misrepresenting the video, falsely claiming it was taken during recent protests in France. The video actually shows people at a demonstration in London chanting for President Donald Trump. The video was taken June 9, 2018, during a rally held in support of Tommy Robinson, a right-wing activist who was jailed for contempt of court in England. In the video, a demonstrator wearing a Trump mask can be seen on top of a blue sightseeing bus trying to rally the crowd by chanting, “We want Trump!” Posts saying the video was taken during a French demonstration began circulating widely on social media after protests in France turned violent the weekend of Dec. 1.

* Related…

* Chris Miller calls pension benefits ‘legalized extortion’: State Rep.-elect Chris Miller (R-Oakland) points to news that just over 19,000 state retirees received pension benefits totaling nearly $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2018 as yet another example of how taxpayers are victimized in Illinois. … “One of the biggest reasons why pensions are so underfunded is the people in them don’t have to fund them,” he said. “They don’t have to pay any income taxes on their retirement benefits and are making a 1,000 percent return on this investment.” … The 110th House District includes Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar and Lawrence counties.

* INN: Rauner say yes to infrastructure bill, no to new taxes


  1. - Annonin' - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Silly Capt Fax…you of all people should know Santis, like Katrina and Kassamoron, are pure fact free opinion folks. Get with the program. And like the others the quality of his work is generally poor. He should go back to cartoon school.

  2. - Still Waiting - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Oh look: Proft’s candidate spouts Proft’s talking points on pensions to Proft’s paper. Will Chris Miller have an original thought during his term or simply vote however he’s told?

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    Stantis is one of those tronclodytes who doesn’t read the Trib news pages.

    In addition to his willful ignorance on France, Stantis missed the bit where Pritzker received the most votes for Illinois governor by any candidate in 40 years running on a graduated income tax platform.

  4. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    Of course it’s unclear except the TOP and their paper have decided their future is tilting at windmills.

  5. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    The takeaway I got from this election is real people understand something has to give.

  6. - TominChicago - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Safe to say that Miller will not be the brightest member of this GA’s freshman class.

  7. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Trumpbune commenting on European politics they know nothing about.

    That propaganda mill is just awful.

  8. - Trapped in the ‘burbs - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    The Trib continues to prove that they are not a legitimate news source and have zero credibility. If they don’t like the facts, they ignore them or make up their own.

  9. - Amalia - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    well, since apparently Putin may be helping the yellow jackets, you know there has to be another distraction from the handiwork of Russia.

  10. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    Real people understand something had to give. Yup. I fully expect a California progressive income tax structure to be implemented. Married filing jointly. $83k/ yr

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:48 am:

    There is a lot of misinformation spread about the French riots. Trumpians are also using this to attack global climate change mitigation initiatives.

    Speaking of clueless people, we get another rep who has no basic understanding of pensions. Thankfully, he’ll be as useless a legislator as is the information spewing from his mouth.

  12. - Responsa - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    ==There is so much disinformation out there.==

    I don’t think any of us really know or understand fully what is going on in France right now or all the reasons why. Trying to equate it in any way to our own country or state may be not useful. But people will try.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    Pritzker ran on a progressive income tax, which is way overdue. He was attacked about as hard as possible during the campaign, and that obviously failed.

    Plus, per one poll, Illinoisans overwhelmingly support a progressive income tax.

    What we might experience is the hopefully futile screaming of those who complain about being taxed fairly.

  14. - LXB - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    ==”One of the biggest reasons why pensions are so underfunded is the people in them don’t have to fund them”==

    In fact, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of us are both currently “in” the pension system and “funding” it as we continue to work and pay income taxes.

  15. - Jibba - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    Hey BDD, Eeyore wants his tail back. You have some quite detailed numbers for a plan that is not even legal yet. And you know what they say about opinions.

  16. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    ==One of the biggest reasons why pensions are so underfunded is the people in them don’t have to fund them==

    1. I am in a state pension system. I just looked at my paycheck, and 8% of my pay went to a state pension system. If it isn’t funding the system, why are they taking it out of my paycheck?

    2. If Miller means that the pensioners are not paying into the system…I thought that was the whole idea. You pay in while you work and draw out when you retire.

    Chris Miller needs to go back to school.

  17. - Jocko - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    Is Stantis told to draw up this nonsense or does he do so willingly.

    Also, do Chris Miller and his constituents…in the spirit of self-reliance…plan on giving back the $12 billion of emergency farm aid headed their way?

  18. - Moe Berg - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:17 am:

    The Trib’s environmental reporting has been really, really good. Stantis is a goof, just trying to stay in the good graces of his ed board paymasters.

    The company just had another round of buyouts. Good reporters and photographers took the exit, while smug disinformationists like Kass and Katrina will continue to draw a salary and ask newspaper readers to pay to be misled.

  19. - Groundhog Day - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    The only thing keeping the morning Trib on my driveway is the environmental reporting.

  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    –Rauner say yes to infrastructure bill, no to new taxes–

    INN headline, 12/7/18.

    That crew is really the tip of the spear for relevant, timely news.

    Can’t wait to hear what Blago thinks.

    That INN is really cutting ed

  21. - Arsenal - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    And…it’s not Illinois. Illinoisans aren’t out in the street protesting. In fact, an entire campaign was just run where JB promised a progressive income tax and Rauner said that was just going to be a tax hike and the majority of Illinoisans said “What the heck, we’ll give it a try.”

  22. - Lt Guv - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Those without a clue have to work hard to stay that way.

  23. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:33 am:

    Jibba. Its not my opinion. Its my hope.

  24. - thoughts matter - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    Chris Miller- RNUG has explained the pension systems over and over on this board. Yes we do pay into our pensions: both with employee contributions and employer contributions. Unless of course the state doesn’t put in their side. Can someone please explain compounding to him, also? Compounding that works the same for social security, railroad pensions, government contributions, IRA’s, 401ks, or even just plain old investing. Of course you get a more than 100% return on investment over the course of a lifetime.
    Finally, someone explain to him that having retirement income would have to be across the board affecting retirees of both the public and private sector.

  25. - JS Mill - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Chris Miller is comedy gold.

    He meant that as a joke right? If not he is either a liar of ignorant of the facts because that is some old, debunked, worn out stuff he is parroting there.

    And the Trib, well LOL that whole messaging line worked so well in the election they thought they would stay with it? Nice.

  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Chris Miller is just one more example of if you say it loud enough and often enough, some people will accept it as fact. It does work sometimes. Like believing that everyone receives a luxurious pension with free healthcare for life. Yeah, right. Still waiting for that.

  27. - Tired Teacher - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    Thoughts matter - you nailed it. Representative Miller should read and keep his mouth quiet and brain active.

  28. - thoughts matter - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 12:25 pm:

    I meant having retirement income ‘TAXED’. Sorry about that brain freeze.

  29. - anon2 - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Calling a public pension “legalized extortion” is akin to calling incarceration “legalized kidnapping.” What part of extortion is it for public employees to negotiate deferred compensation in the form of a pension, and to contribute every paycheck the full employee amount? Are all public officials of both parties who approve of pensions for their workers co-conspirators in the extortion?

  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    Has this Chris Miller refused his state pension yet?

    Tell your constituents you’re gonna tax their retirement income, pal. Show some spine.

    Where do they find these guys?

  31. - Captain Obvious - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 1:13 pm:

    Pot/Kettle - do you really believe the 8% that comes out if your check fully funds your retirement benefits?

  32. - Pundent - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 1:42 pm:

    =Pot/Kettle - do you really believe the 8% that comes out if your check fully funds your retirement benefits?=

    Same could be said for social security so I’m assuming you’ll be refusing to take that on principle.

  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 1:48 pm:

    Captain obvious - so any non-salary/wage benefit of employment is extortion?

    Health insurance is just one of many that springs to mind.

    You didn’t think that one through.

  34. - Driveby - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    To the more serious point, Rich, what are you hearing and seeing about people leaving or planning to leave because of high taxes? It seems rampant to me and worsening quickly, especially with wealthy people changing residence.

  35. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    ===It seems rampant to me===

    People threaten things all the time and never follow through. Jimmy John ring a bell? It’s standard rhetoric.

  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Im still waiting for all these celebrities who threatened to move to Canada to book their moving vans. Hasn’t happened yet.

  37. - CumberlandCoHick - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Chris Miller is the latest edition of the extreme fringe of the fringe from our poor, rural district (carpetbagger Halbrook and Reg Phillip$). If you think Chris Miller harbors contempt for public pensions, just wait until he goes after public education (as he is a passionate home schooler).

    Did anyone find it interesting that Chris used “Illinois first” on some of his campaign material as a slogan? He does not strike me as a George Ryan kind of guy.

    Prediction- Chris Miller will eclipse the Mike Bost live meltdown sometime next spring.

  38. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 4:07 pm:

    =…of those who complain about being taxed fairly.=

    Right before they move out of state.

  39. - @misterjayem - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    Pro tip: If Stantis’ second character had said “J.B.” instead of “Sir”, Stantis wouldn’t have needed to literally label his caricature of the governor-elect.

    – MrJM

  40. - Citizen Kane - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 5:27 pm:

    “All the News That’s Fit to Print” - NYT
    “Democracy Dies in the Darkness” - WaPo
    “If You Don’t Want It Printed, Don’t Let It Happen” - Aspen Daily News
    “Don’t Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Editorial” - Chicago Tribune

  41. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 7:17 pm:

    –Pro tip: If Stantis’ second character had said –“J.B.” instead of “Sir”, Stantis wouldn’t have needed to literally label his caricature of the governor-elect.–

    – MrJM–

    Check out the TV in the cartoon.

    Have you ever seen a TV screen with a vertical aspect ratio, rather than a panoramic? That one looks like a picture frame, not a wide-screen TV.

    Must be a troncsylvania thing. They see things differently.

  42. - Do the math - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 8:06 am:

    $2.4 billion. 19,000 retirees. =$126,000 each. Is that true or BS?

  43. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 11, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    Pritzker and butler watching 5 billionaires having a tantrum on TV.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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